Monday, September 12, 2016

currently reading

Currently reading A Man Called Ove, which everyone seems to also be reading (to wit: NYT bestseller list). It was my book group's most recent selection. They met and discussed the book last week, but I was unable to attend owing to the family schedule but also because I took on a proofreading project for a friend. Reading my friend's thesis got in the way of book group reading. That's just the way it was last week.

So, I have mostly been enjoying Ove. Before I started the book, I was suspicious of potential sentimentality and a certain predictability (cf. Bill Murray in St. Vincent). And, while both of those suspicions have come to bear, I read on because I suspect, based on the readers/friends who recommended this book to me, that my perceptions will somehow be changed. I am looking forward to that possibility. Plus, Ove is quite a character. And, I like the way the author has formatted the novel, built each character, and incorporated a subtle humor.

While Ove is my main read for the moment, I am also listening to Siracusa by Delia Ephron. Friend Kari M. read it recently and mentioned on Goodreads that it had been a solid vacation read. Coincidentally, the novel is about two couples on vacation together in Italy. The novel is told in four points of view, and the audio is read by four actors/actresses who are actually two husband-wife couples (one of the actors is John Slattery; it's hard to separate him from his Mad Men character). What another wonderful coincidence! The novel has so many uncomfortable situations and characters who are pushed to the edges. The audio really emphasizes the inherent drama. I'm glad I chose this medium.

Charles Foster's Being a Beast came in for me at the library. I don't even know how to begin explaining this book, but suffice to say the author's embedded research is interesting. So far, I haven't had an undistracted moment to "get into" the book, but I hope to soon because I think I'm really going to it, especially the exploration of the natural world.

Finally, this morning I dove back into The Stories of Jane Gardam in the hope of finishing up some odds and ends from earlier in the year. "Soul Mates," an eerie story about two couples who meet on vacation then meet up after vacation eventfully, isn't the only story in the collection that channels Shirley Jackson hard